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APA: use common sense when classifying Boreas Ponds

Editorial

That logic seems to make sense to us.

We are not advocating that the lands be open to motor vehicles or ATVs; we know what kind of a battle that would be and understand the destruction that could be caused to the environment, and the damaging precedent that could be set here.

But a compromise could and should be reached — perhaps under a less restrictive Wild Forest classification or a combination of classifications — that would allow as many user groups as possible to access the land. From mountain bikes to horse-drawn wagons to wheel carts under canoes — perhaps, dare we say it, even snowmobiles on the road in the wintertime. Besides snowmobiling, it would be similar to the 10-mile round-trip trek to Great Camp Santanoni in the town of Newcomb.

The fact is, not everyone can hike 7 miles into a pond. For those that can’t, alternatives should be allowed. Anyone who cannot understand that is looking at it from a pretty narrow-minded point of view.

It is almost comical to hear the governor say that land purchases mean more tourism money for Adirondack communities. Tell that to residents of Hamilton County — an area that has the most state land and the lowest median household incomes in the state. The reality is state land purchases don’t automatically translate into tourism dollars.

It’s a great place to visit but a really difficult place to make a living.

North Hudson is in the same boat. As Moore recently said, the community has no gas station and no stores.

Let’s be realistic — what exactly is this land purchase going to do to stimulate the economy in his community? A few folks might gas up at the Sunoco in Schroon Lake on their way south after hiking into Boreas Ponds, but just how much money is going to be spent in North Hudson? Not much, if any.

Link a snowmobile trail into Boreas Ponds with Newcomb, Long Lake, North Hudson and Schroon Lake, though, and see how that turns around. Make that same trail a mountain bike trail in the summer and now you’re on to something.

The APA should take all user groups into consideration when classifying state lands. This particular case — with its miles of well-maintained existing roadways and beautiful main lodge — is custom made for opening up to a more intense level of use.

Let’s use some common sense and maintain what is already there.

Comments should be directed to denpubs@denpubs.com

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